Posted 8:20 AM 1/29/2013 : Colorado Springs toddler grows up without eating
You do it about 600 times a day, yet chances are you never stop to think about the vital act of swallowing, that is, until something goes wrong. News 5 sat down with a Colorado Springs family who's toddlers inability to swallow led to a rocky start in life.
For Angelina Moore, her 22 month old bundle of Joy is nothing short of a miracle. Jalyssa was born two weeks early, weighed just over 4 pounds and refused to eat.
"When we had her, she never took a bottle, she would not take a breast, she just wasn't doing anything."
Dr. Robert Kylie, a doctor with Memorial Hospital and Pediatrix Medical Group, kept a close eye on Jalyssa throughout the pregnancy.
"She was ultimately diagnosed with swallowing dysfunction, we're not exactly sure why certain babies have that...there are certain diseases, or certain congenital or genetic issues that we think about."
Dr. Kiley adds, that while in utero, he noticed an abundant amount of fluid around her. That can mean a few things, but it wasn't until after Jalyssa was born that doctors were able to figure out why.
"In some cases it can mean that the baby has swallowing problems for example. They don't swallow the amniotic fluid."
That in turn can cause the fluid to build up. Because Jalyssa was so tiny when she was born, she had low muscle tone and didn't have the muscular control to swallow food. That left just one option: a G-tube.
"It's a hole in her stomach, it's a little bitty button, not bigger than my pinky. They put it in there .. its a little balloon underneath, you fill it with water and it stays in [the stomach]," says Moore.
It wasn't until this past summer, at about a year old, that Jalyssa started to eat some solid foods. But a recent case of the flu has changed all of that, Moore says her daughter is back to refusing to eat. Jalyssa will head back to doctors this week if that continues.